Archive for January 28th, 2010

Ambitious new motorcycles.

Nine in fact for 2010 as Bill Davidson (VP of Core Customer Marketing) stated at last year’s launch of the new models: “We are thrilled to offer our customers nine new models and a full selection of products… that lets their enthusiasm for enjoying great motorcycles continue at full throttle!” [exclamation point added for emphasis]

There were exciting features – sarcasm alert – like “slammed suspension,” “an optional flame paint scheme,” “a larger front wheel,” “a new tail light assembly,” and a lot of something called “light and lean extreme.”  Huh?  It’s massive changes like these that are really going to bring in the customers.  And with the unprecedented new plating process called “midnight pearl” used on the headlight cover, timer and derby covers, and fender struts young people will have these motorcycles flying out of dealers.

Now comes the introduction of the $35,999.00 MSRP Harley-Davidson CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide.  The equivalent of two Honda Civics LX’s which cost $35,210 and money left over to install the optional Moonroof!  Or you could buy a tops down 2010 Lexus IS 250 Convertible for $35,495 and still have money left over for a kick butt pizza party!

My point?  Can a 107 year-old brand truly command these premium prices in this economy or are they pricing themselves out of business?  In Q3’09 Harley CEO Keith Wandell stated “… we are moving with the speed and decisiveness required to bring our business strategy to life…”, little did we know the change reference was how fast they can increase prices.

It’s only January and already been a long winter.   Not enough time has passed to pay-off the holiday credit card charges so, as cool as it would be to ride this motorcycle a $10K down and 11% interest loan for 60 months would leave little discretionary funds to ride it anywhere!

Of course I might reconsider if they’d throw in a toaster.

Photo courtesy of H-D

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